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Khushwant Singh on Women, Love & Lust
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LOVE & LUST
If you are looking for answers to eternal questions like which came first - love or lust - or debates pertaining to celibacy, chastity or arranged marriages, Khushwant Singh delivers his expose on such intimate matters within the pages of this volume.
Whether he is analyzing the fine diving line between obscenity, pornography and erotica, his description of sex from 'Chaturbhani' (200-350 BC) or describing his ideas of a composite Indian woman, Khushwant holds the reader's attention effortlessly. But that isn't all. Years before terms such as 'gender issues' or 'gender-divide' came into use, he spoke of them and recorded his thoughts. His deliberations reveal an unexpected side to Khushwant - in these pages, you'll find Khushwant, the feminist.
The book abounds with Indian as well as foreign myths, legends, proverbs and poems ranging from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Whitman to Kalidas, Iqbal and Faiz. There are delectable quotes from Russell to Wodehouse. And almost each page offers you special anecdotes, which could somehow come from Khushwant alone. Only he could share with you his intense experience of nudo-phobia suffered in Sweden, his acute observation of Indian whoremongers once they are abroad, scandals among amongst the literati and glitterati - H G Wells as a compulsive fornicator or George Simenon hammering away at his typewriter (and his women) as a routine at the age of 80 are only a few revelations.
Then his carnal curiosity gives way to more serious notes. He talks about Beatrice Faust's analysis of the female approach to pornography, Shulamith Firestone's philosophy of women's liberation, Sudhir Kakar's exploration of Indian sexuality. Further, highlights such as Khushwant's well-researched etymology of love related lexicon has much to teach including facts like how something as banal as bran works as the ultimate aphrodisiac.
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